Early in the afternoon 25 years ago today, eight first-rate pilots took off from a base in the Sinai. Among them was Ilan Ramon, who later became an astronaut and was killed in the Columbia shuttle disaster. To avoid radar detection their F-16s flew just a hundred feet above the deserts of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The jets reached Osirak while Iraqi antiaircraft gunners and surface-to-air missile operators were eating dinner. They flattened the reactor’s large dome and destroyed its complex machinery. At least eight people were killed, including a French advisor. The pilots then sped back home without taking a single round of antiaircraft fire. The raid was so sudden and successful that for days few believed it had actually happened.
Jun 7, 2006
Celebrate the destruction of Osirak
Israel bombed Saddam Hussein's nuclear plant 25 years ago today.